OCGA 40–6–186 makes it a crime to "race" on any Georgia highway or street. And, importantly, if you plead guilty to racing your license will be suspended (see OCGA 40-5-54).
One very important fact to know is: if you're under 18 "at the time of the arrest" then you cannot plead nolo (this means you will lose your license).
If you're at least 21 years old at the time you plead nolo, your license will not be suspended.
What does the Georgia Racing law say?
The Racing law says, "No person shall drive any vehicle on a highway in this state in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record, and no person shall in any manner participate in any such race, competition of speed, contest of speed, or test or exhibition of speed." OCGA 40–6–186(b).
The law defines "drag race" and "racing" as follows: (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) “Drag race” means the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerated
speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other or the operation of one or more vehicles over
a common selected course from the same point to the same point for the purpose of comparing the
relative speeds or power of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time
(2) “Racing” means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain, outdistance, or prevent
another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles, or to
test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes.
What will happen to my Georgia driver's license if I am found guilty of racing?
Under OCGA 40-5-54, the DDS is required to suspend your license. This is a "mandatory suspension." (see OCGA 40-5-54(a)(4)).
How long will my Georgia driver's license be suspended if I am convicted of Racing?
The answer is found in OCGA 40-5-63(a)(1). That paragraph states, "Upon the first conviction of any such offense, with no arrest and conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to such offense within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, the period of suspension shall be 12 months. At the end of 120 days, the person may apply to the department for early reinstatement of his or her driver's license... such license shall be reinstated if such person submits proof of completion of either a defensive driving course approved by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 40-5-83 or a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays the prescribed restoration fee."
What will happen to my driver's license if I plead Guilty to Racing?
If you plead guilty to a Racing charge, your license will be suspended for 12 months. After 120 days, you can have it reinstated if you complete either a defensive driving course, or DUI School and pay $210.
Note: that you will be able to get a Work Permit (for those 120 days of suspension).
Will a Nolo plea save my license if I plead Nolo to Racing?
If you're under 18 "at the time of the arrest" then you cannot plead nolo (this means you will lose your license).
But, if you're at least 21 years old at the time you plead nolo, your license will not be suspended.
Call us now at 770.249.4405 to find out ways to help you keep your license.